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India vs South Africa, 5th T20I preview: Hosts eye series win in Bengaluru

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After clinching series-levelling victory in Rajkot, the Indian cricket team will take on South Africa in the fifth and final T20 international at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Sunday, June 19.

After suffering defeats in New Delhi and Cuttack, Rishabh Pant-led India have bounced back strongly to secure wins by 48 runs and 82 runs in Visakhapatnam and Rajkot, respectively.

The hosts will head into the series-deciding T20I brimming with confidence after an all-round show in the previous two matches.

However, the Men in Blue have a poor record at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in the T20I format, registering two wins and five defeats.

The last time India played a T20I match in Bengaluru, South Africa thrashed the hosts by nine wickets in 2019.

Here are some of the talking points ahead of the fifth and final T20I between India and South Africa:

Dinesh Karthik and Hardik Pandya in great form

The form of India middle-order batters Dinesh Karthik and Hardik Pandya has been one of the biggest positives for the hosts in the series so far. Karthik bagged the Player of the Match award in Rajkot after he played a match-winning knock of 55 off just 27 balls. On the other hand, former Mumbai Indians all-rounder Hardik Pandya has been one of the standout batters in the T20I series. The swashbuckling all-rounder has scored 117 runs in four matches at an impressive average of 58.50 and a strike rate of 153.94. Both Karthik and Hardik will once again play an important role if the hosts are to clinch the series in Bengaluru.

Indian bowling attack has been clinical in last two T20Is

After trailing 0-2 in the five-match series, the young Indian side has roared back courtesy their impressive bowling attack. India have bowled out South Africa for 131 and 87 in Visakhapatnam and Rajkot, respectively. While Harshal Patel has been the wrecker-in-chief for India, picking seven wickets in four matches, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Yuzvendra Chahal have bagged six wickets each. The Indian bowling attack will look to produce another match-winning display against the Proteas at Chinnaswamy.

Proteas head into final T20I plagued by injuries

South Africa have too many injury concerns heading into the final T20I match of the series. While captain Temba Bavuma retired hurt in Rajkot after suffering left elbow injury, the Proteas outfit will also be fretting over the availability of their star fast bowlers Kagiso Rabada and Wayne Parnell. Furthermore, the form of opening batter Quinton de Kock will also be a concern ahead of the series-decider.

Considering the recent form, India will start as favourites against South Africa in the series-deciding T20I encounter in Bengaluru.